Teens Connect

Teens Connect LogoTeens Connect, a new non-profit, comes from the desire to create a more comprehensive community of support for our teenagers.
Our work is dependent on hearing directly from the teens about what they need to feel more supported and empowered.
The formula is simple – ask questions and then listen. We took our work with the teen focus group to a bigger audience, holding events at New Tech High School and Harvest Middle School, asking the same simple questions: 1. What are you struggling with – at school, at home, socially? 2. Do you have adults in your life you can talk to? and 3. What type of support do you need from the adults in your life?

An important aspect of our work involves teens supporting teens. At our high school event, we brought in college students to facilitate conversations. At our middle school event, we brought in high-school students. This resulted in powerful peer-supported events in which the students really opened up. The written data we compiled confirmed for us that our teens are, indeed, struggling – in a big way.’ 

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Teens Connect has been busy partnering with local organizations to design and implement programs that support, inspire and empower our teens:

Therapy Groups
In partnership with Mentis and Napa Valley Unified School District

One in four of our youth experience chronic sadness and hopelessness. Mental health problems are real, painful, and sometimes severe. The good news is mental illness is like physical illnesses. It is treatable. Our Teens Connect and Mentis partnership provides free, weekly therapy groups with a professional Mentis therapist on middle and high school campuses, meeting teens where they are to provide the services that will allow them to thrive.

Youth Mental Health First Aid
In partnership with Providence St. Joseph’s Health Care

Often, teens are first responders when it comes to issues facing their peers. In this training, teens complete an 8-hour course on Youth Mental Health First Aid. They receive an overview of mental health issues specific to 12-24 year olds, learn risks and warning signs of suicide, and learn what to do in a crisis or emerging crisis among their friends and peers. Once completed, teens receive certification cards good for 3 years. We’ve also recently printed 10,000 cards with the Crisis Text Line and Suicide Hotline, which are being distributed to teens all over Napa.

Yoga & Meditation for Teens
In partnership with Ekam Yoga and Wellness

Yoga and meditation reduce stress, improve focus and concentration, build strength and improve body image. Yoga can help teens learn to manage physical and emotional changes mindfully. Teens Connect is partnering with Ekam Yoga and Wellness, a yoga studio in Napa, to offer weekly Yoga + Meditation classes to teens, taught by practitioners who connect with youth. Classes will be offered at a low cost, or free for those who cannot afford the cost, in order to make this program accessible to all teens.

Teens Volunteer
In partnership with the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership

Teens that volunteer gain new perspectives of our community and world, learn empathy and compassion, improve confidence and self esteem, and develop unique problem-solving skills. Teens Connect is developing a comprehensive database of volunteer opportunities specifically for teenagers in Napa County. This database will be integrated within the CVNL website, and once completed teens will be able to search for opportunities specific to their age and interests, as well as receive information about ongoing opportunities as they arise. Projects include working with animals, children, seniors, community organizations and the environment.